Having recently decided to go down a new path, Sohe have gone with Parichat, a chef that has a wealth of culinary knowledge and experience. With influences from Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea and beyond, Sohe combine Pan-Asian flavours to create tasty and original dishes. I was intrigued to discover her unique offering of rare, exotic ingredients, some of which have never before been seen in Newcastle, on the new, vibrant menu. All of the fun was about to begin.
Situated on Osborne Road, in the heart of Jesmond, Sohe is a beautiful, classy restaurant with a stunning interior. Everywhere you turn, its beauty hits you. The ambient lighting was sublime, particularly where we were sat which was by the window. Without doubt, Sohe looked the part. It was impossible not to be impressed.
Aidan, our waiter on the night, asked us what we would like to drink. With many cocktail options available, we decided to go for a Spiced Ginger Mojito and a Strawberry Woo Woo. With what was to be a night full of ginger infusion, the cocktail of rum and fiery ginger was a great festive choosing that I have decided to make my cocktail of choice. The Strawberry Woo Woo was a superb colour and tasted as good as it looked.
To pre-start, we ordered Prawn Crackers accompanied with a spicy tamarind dipping sauce and Oysters that came with a chilli, lime and ginger dressing. The prawn crackers were amazing. It was a case of once you start you just can’t stop. The oysters caused a stir in my palette and left a cleansed taste.
For our starters, we had Marinated Chicken Satay with a spicy peanut sauce and Duck Summer Rolls with hoisin and peanut sauce. The chicken was a crisped, golden brown that was an excellent combination to the peanut sauce. A big mention to the cabbage too, it was a divine starter. As were the duck rolls. The sauce complemented them amazingly well, I could’ve had the sauce with anything – it was that good!
We decided to have more cocktails especially as the cocktail list at Sohe is on a par with any bar in the North East. We both went for something unique and a little outrageous, a Bangkok Mary which was vodka with sweet sherry, tomato juice, basil and hints of wasabi. Oh my, it was hot. Unlike any other cocktail before, it was something else.
As we were about to order our mains, I couldn’t help but notice the place become fuller. In saying that, even with the place more full, Sohe manages to maintain a serene yet charming atmosphere. It was a difficult choice to choose from such a wonderful selection of dishes on the menu. With guidance, we decided on the Beef Rendang Curry and Thai Chicken Green Curry, both with steamed jasmine rice. Although there were vast options including steak and lobster, we had to have curry. When both dishes came, again they were both as pretty as curries can look. The taste of the beef falling apart as the sauce oozes out big, thick, scintillating flavours that smack your senses into life. At just the correct spice level for my palate, it was curry at its finest. Stuck like a statue, the sticky rice wasn’t moving until it was combined with the curry. My mouth is salivating thinking back to it. What an absolute wonder of a main. The Thai curry was just as rewarding. Although my colleague would’ve liked the curry to be thicker, he still waxed lyrical about its taste. No word of a lie, those two were both out of this world. Before we moved onto dessert we were offered a sample of the Stir-fried Chicken which came with ginger, wild mushroom and spring onion. Oh was it spicy. Certainly a crowd pleaser, this would go down well with anyone wanting to eat healthy after Christmas. It was an extremely, delightful main event. Sohe was going for gold!
With having devoured so much food, could we possibly have dessert? With food this amazing, we had to try. Again with assistance from Aidan, who was a fabulous, informative host on the night, we went for the Ginger Crème Brûlée and the Salted Caramel Ice-cream. The ginger crème brûlée had a super sweet, crispy caramel layer on the top and underneath the outer shell was ginger custard that just sat on your tongue and took over your taste buds until it melted away. Yes it was very sweet. Yes it was rich. But can I have some more? The salted caramel ice-cream was perfect after such a filling main and added to the fulfilment. The smoothness of the cream combined with the toffee nut layer at the bottom. The desserts were both astonishingly good.
We finished off with Espresso Martini’s that marked a resounding end to a wonderful experience.
To conclude: the class, the setting, the location and particularly the food at Sohe is apparent for all to see. In an establishment populated by many students, I can only hope they try this special dining experience that is sitting right on their doorstep. Even if you have to travel, still go. Believe you me, it will be worth it. This was food of the highest order for sophisticated palates (Parichat has the amazing ability to wow taste buds) and if you’re sitting at home deciding what to do tonight, go try it out.